Oh, well, most shoujo/josei problems or complications rotates around romance. Troubles in sending your feelings through to the one you love, troubles in letting your best friend know that you actually like the same person she likes, troubles that the one you like might not like you, and so on. Sometimes there are other problems, though; it could be something related to family or friends or just certain situation.
Among all those complications and hard moments, which ones do you think are the best? Best, as in helping the character to grow better and stronger or contribute greatly to the plot or just because it is significant for you or special since you experience the same thing too.
Have fun sharing!
I think one of the hardest conflicts that a heroine could face is when she is being forgotten by the man she loves- like, scientifically.
Particularly, Domyouji of Hana Yori Dango gets amnesia and selectively forgets Makino. Worst of all, while he doesn't remember his girlfriend (who takes care of him even through the amnesia), he falls in love with a different girl!!!
But the conflict, when I describe it, sounds so shallow but when I read the manga, it really strikes a nerve because you have to understand what they've been through individually and together just to fight for their love, and all of a sudden, memories are wiped out.
---------- Post added at 01:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:46 PM ----------
Now that I think about it, a similar situation occurred in Bride of the Water God.
Gosh, amnesia situations can be so painful >.<
---------- Post added at 01:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:48 PM ----------
Oh, there's a different one:
When the boy you love is TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH A DIFFERENT WOMAN, an older woman to boot.
I mean, it's painful enough in real life, how easy can it be for manga to exaggerate and complicate this matter? Love Squares, anyone?
Particularly, I'm talking about Parfait Tic. Again the impact is really heavy when you read the story, not just the conflict part I mentioned. Here is where you see the skill of the mangaka because you get to see their pained facial expressions, their struggling body language. The boy knows he is a toy to the older woman, but he allows himself to be used because he is helplessly in love. And the girl, watching in the background, cannot seem to break them apart.
This was one of the very gravitational parts of the story that really got me... I don't know, because I quickly empathize with the characters, especially if it's about romance. Like, I totally believe what they're going through, lol.
Then again, not that all series with this kind of complication are boring. For instance, I do like Winter Sonata. Sweet and lovely. If we remember about what happened in The Bride of the Water God, it is way too annoying for me considering what the characters have gone through. XD
Anyone read a series called Yurara no Tsuki?
I think I like the love vs. duty plot... I don't particularly remember what series has this type of plot (I've read too many shoujo/josei series) but I am sure that some series have it...
It is when the main character has to choose between fulfilling his/her duty or to leave it all and be with the one he/she loves. It's always interesting to see how the character solves this problem...
I get what you mean, Yuki.
There's one particular series I remember: Hot Gimmick. The girl has to choose between her (adolescent, lol) boyfriend and her family.
Well, there are many cases like that. even Hana Yori Dango also has that arc (I swear, that manga is LONG) where she has to break up with the guy or else her dad loses his job.
I think it's common to make the protagonist choose for love at some point
Mm, HanaDan is indeed choc-a-block full of cliches that force Makino to choose Doumyouji over her family, or that arc where Doumyouji lost his memories as baboysai pointed out. While they were cliche, they were still a riveting read. I mean, Hanadan is crazy popular (especially the dramas) so there is obviously some appeal there
It's always about choosing love over something else you hold dear, isn't it? I remember in X/1999 Arashi also has to choose between Sorata and her abilities (which would allow her to save the world). Unfortunately shortly after this the manga goes on hiatus so we never got to find out what happened thereafter
One of my favorite life/romance problems would probably be from 5 cm/s when the 2 protagonists were separated by distance. Perhaps it was just the portrayal, but it was so poignant and bittersweet, especially the conclusion, which I shall not spoil here
True, true, we actually overlooked the challenge of distance.
But see, distance is something we deal with in everyday life too often, and it's too common, so maybe we don't feel its weight in a manga.
Then again, like all these cliches, it's all about how the story is told, right? Like, when you talk of distance, then why not Voices from a Distant Star- now THAT'S long distance.
Also, in most manga, long distance is so easily overcome with a new love. Take for example in Nana. Usually a new love comes along.
Which reminds me, in Nana, there aren't any cliches or MASSIVE plot twists... I mean, sure, there's pregnancy, and death, etc. but somehow, the way this manga was written made it feel like everything was happening as it should have, or that it's very real- so that I, as reader, would not think the conflicts were just put together by the author for kicks, you know?
I don't read Nana so I don't know...
Oh, and I just remember another challenging problem in romance, when one of the couple is not human. I think a lot of supernatural shoujo/josei have this plot. Until now, I haven't found any that has good ending. Whether the end is crappy or sad. I hate tragic ending but it's still better than crappy ending. I remember some stories in Natsume Yuujinchou.. The youkai and human fall in love... Of course, it doesn't work out. Human has limited lifespan while youkai can live for a long, long time... I seriously cried when I read the stories... Shounen Dolls also has this plot... The human girl and the doll fall in love. It' still ongoing so I wonder how this will end.
An example of the not-so-best life/romance problem: Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu. Sure, every shoujo manga will probably have similar problems where the primary protagonists will doubt themselves or new characters are introduced and create a problem for the lovers, but the constant issue with the same problem occurring does get quite annoying after a while. The best problem I would say would be the male going through revelations in his daily life that help him recognize that he truly likes the girl (:
I was just reminded of another interesting twist. It is when you like someone, but you knew you couldn't be with him. Instead there is another boy who likes you, and everyone kind of 'support' you to be a couple, and that you know he is a kind person, but you couldn't because you like someone else. That is actually fun to see, especially when the three characters often go together or meet up for various events. Like what happened in Merry Go Round...
That's similar to the one I mentioned above, P-chan ( I'm loving the nickname!) Do try to read Parfait Tic.
I can't help but being reminded of P-Man. Thanks for the nick, anyway!
Parfait Tic, eh? I will give it a try when I can. ^^
Problem related to age and position is one of my favorite model. Not like what I told happened in Merry Go Round only. I think something similar happened to the female lead and a male character of Magic Knight Rayearth by CLAMP~ Separated by age, position, and tasks. Plus the ending about the relationship was so much a cliffhanger that it upset me. >__< :P
I think the most difficult situation was shown in Basara. It was so difficult that I dropped it in the middle. Just couldn't handle the pain T_T It's so beautifully drawn too.
Hmm, Basara is like Romeo and Juliet no?
yeah we haven't mentioned that. A family feud.
[spoiler warning] well, Romeo and Juliet were victims who didn't really care about their clans, whereas in Basara they're pretty much enemies which is a bit different. One's the leader of rebels, the other's the ruler the former is rebelling against.
Last edited by Erimia; February 19, 2012 at 09:53 PM.